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Thread: Pediatricians

  1. #1
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    Pediatricians

    Twice now this weekend I've run into posts here at THR mentioning websites that quote the American Academy of Pediatrics in justifying a strong anti-gun stance.

    From the AAPs policy:
    1. The AAP affirms that the most effective measure to prevent firearm-related injuries to children and adolescents is the absence of guns from homes and communities.
    a) Firearm regulation, to include bans of handguns and assault weapons, is the most effective way to reduce firearm-related injuries.

    b) Pediatricians and other child health care professionals are urged to inform parents about the dangers of guns in and outside the home. The AAP recommends that pediatricians incorporate questions about guns into their patient history taking and urge parents who possess guns to remove them, especially handguns, from the home. Loaded firearms and unlocked firearms and ammunition represent a serious danger to children and adolescents. At especially high risk are adolescents who have a history of aggressive and violent behaviors, suicide attempts, or depression.
    Other related AAP "safety" material is here and here.

    The "educational materials" continue to use discredited "facts", like the Kellerman 1986 study that claimed that a firearm kept in the home was 43 times more likely "to kill" someone in the home than an intruder. The fallacy of this claim (and the intransigence of the New England Journal of Medicine in publishing any crticism of the study) has been detailed by Gary Kleck, John Lott, Dave Kopel, and others.

    Funny: in some aspects, the AAP's attitude seems "reasonable:"
    If a gun is accessible in someone's home, there is a good chance a child will find it and play with it.

    So...ASK if there is a gun before sending your child over to play...

    If the answer is YES...You have to determine if your child's safety is at risk. Guns should be kept in a gun safe with the ammunition locked separately or they pose a real risk to your child. Hiding guns is not enough. There are countless tragic stories of kids finding guns that parents thought were well hidden or safely stored. If you have any doubts about the safety of someone's home, you should politely invite the children to play at your house instead.
    Note that this is, perhaps, not very different than what I might ask a gun-owning friend before sending my kid over to his home to play--"All the guns secured? Just checking." Anyone can use a reminder.

    But they don't clearly say that, if the guns are secured, then all's well--they seem to me to imply that any home where there are guns...well, your kids can't be safe there.

    And other aspects are less reasonable. For example, there is the aspect that they are not content to marshal all pediatricians as anti-gun evangelists; they want to enlist all parents. And the AAP's policy paper says:
    Several legal reviews emphasize that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual's gun ownership. Two cases, Presser v Illinois and United States v Miller, have established the meaning of the Second Amendment.59,60 These and later federal court rulings have indicated that the "right" to bear arms is linked to the preservation of state militias and is not intended to provide for an individual's right to own a firearm. The federal government could ban whole categories of firearms, such as handguns and assault weapons.
    Now, sure, they haven't amended the statement since DC v Heller--hey, maybe they don't think they should!--but shouldn't it strike us as odd that they're not advocating safe behavior (whatever that might be) here; instead, doctors are giving their legal opinion that it should be possible to ban "whole categories of weapons?"

    Okay. Long introduction. Obviously, I have no use for the AAP. My questions are:

    1. Have you run into intrusive questions or over-reaching recommendations from you kid's (s') pediatrician?
    2. Have you run into other parents--this might be hard to tell--not letting their kids come over after asking you about GUNS?
    3. If another parent asks you about guns in the house (has it happened?) what do you say? Do you hide all the American Riflemen mags, antlers, and other "gun perphernalia" when school-dads and -moms come over?

  2. #2
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    yes and I wrote all over the questionaire

    I saw that question when my wife asked me what to answer. began looking for a new pediatrician immediately.

    I wrote that the constitutional right to bear arms and it's excercise is none of your business. It has no pertinence to childhood illness or disease, nor is an immunization available so the question has no bearing.

  3. #3
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    Pediatricians miss diagnoses of childhood illness and disease has killed far more children than firearms have.

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    I think that it's reasonable for pediatricians to talk about guns with kids/parents in the same way that they would talk about any other potentially dangerous item that a kid might have access to, like the stove, boiling water, kitchen knives, household chemicals, etc. But I don't think that they have any right to judge or to express any extra concern about guns.

    I think that kids' exposure to lead in households where shooting is a hobby and/or reloading is a practice is a more serious and reasonable concern of a pediatrician.

    JOsh

  5. #5
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    I was asked about it a year or so (should be able to find my post on it).

    We never saw that doctor again and I wrote several emails to the hospital command staff about it. Crazy part was that it was a military hospital and the young doc was a bit surprised that I had a weapon in my house. Idiot.

    It was all I could do at the time to not disassemble her into her subcomponents at that time. Would have since she was junior to me in rank, however, the look of fear on my Wife's face kept me from doing so.

    If the line of questioning was more reasonable, or if she had asked about the car seat, securing the toxic chemicals in the house, if we had a pet, had a pool, or were smokers (all things that put kids at as much or more risk) then I would have been fine with it.

    Only thing she wanted to know about was firearms. We could have been cooking meth in the kitchen and I think she would have been fine with it.

    I will not see those type of people for any reason. I go in for medical care, not to have your liberal agenda pushed upon me.

    Still mad about it over 2yrs later Should have asked my Wife to leave that day and broken the young doc down then and there.
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    We were asked, my wife answered that there were.

    The doctor reminded us that they need to be kept locked up and away from the new-born infant and kids.

    Also reminded us about the chemicals under the sink, drowning risks and a whole slew of other things.

    The reminder did not bother me. It is sort of similar, in my opinion, when a gun club hangs up the four rules of firearm safety.

    A reminder is good.
    Want to talk about non-firearms related stuff? Why not head on over to www.armedpolitesociety.com?

    We'll leave the light on for you.

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    If a doctor were to ask me about my firearms and presume to advise me on them, I would ask what special training he has in firearms and ask to see his certificate.

    If he can't produce one, that's malpractice.

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    Ha! it looks like I'm not the only Old Grump on the forum. Most people tend to see their doctors as authority figures, not service providers and let themselves get intimidated. I'm glad to see people standing up to them when they are demonstrably wrong.
    1934 – National Firearms Act, 1968 – The Gun Control Act, 1986 – Firearms Owners Protection Act, 1993 – Brady Handguns Violence Act, 1994 – Assault Weapons Ban, 1995 – Gun Free School Zones Act, NO MORE COMPROMISING

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    I went to the VA a while back -- to a contract VA clinic (this clinic makes a mint off the VA, and has a regular practice besides.)

    Somehow the doc and I got into a converstation where he was ranting and raving against "government contractors."

    I said, "Ah, Doc? You're a government contractor."

    I don't know what they teach them in Medical School these days, but it sure isn't common sense.

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    On a recent doctor visit, my kids' doctor had a medical student working with him. He asked my son what he did for fun, and my son answered "target shooting".

    The medical student had a look of terror and anguish until the doctor told her that "this is a conservative area, and lots of young people here have guns" (the doctor hunts deer and recommends venison to his patients)!

    Since then, I have told both kids not to talk to doctors or anyone else about guns and several other family topics which attract controversy.

    I myself have never been asked about having guns, but if I am, I can show them my CCW permit and ask them when they last had a class in gun handling.
    With guns, we are citizens; without them we are subjects!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkhorse
    the doctor hunts deer and recommends venison to his patients
    Surprisingly, my experience here has been similar. If a doc asks about firearms (most don't), he (or she) then asks about hearing and eye protection, and about safe storage. No inappropriate lectures about "You shouldn't own those!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Humphrey
    I would ask what special training he has in firearms and ask to see his certificate.
    But Vern--since there is NO SUCH THING as firearms safety, the doc wouldn't need a certificate of firearms training. In fact, his total and complete inexperience and ignorance of firearms is your surest sign that the doc understands that the only safe firearm is an absent firearm.

    Ludicrous, I know. But that does seem to be the thought process (so-called) of many antis.

    I would agree, if your pediatrician seems to have such inability to think logically, or to question data-less doctrine, or to figure out things on his own--find another doctor. If you can.

  12. #12
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    My pediatrician has a CHL.

    My opthomologist also knows I'm a shooter as he offered to set up my glasses to easily focus on the front sight.
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    My ophthalmologist had been an upland bird hunter and duck hunter before he slowed down and switched to golf. No problem getting prescription shooting glasses from him. I wish he hadn't retired, he was only 82. Of course that was 17 years ago he might have slowed down some more by now.
    1934 – National Firearms Act, 1968 – The Gun Control Act, 1986 – Firearms Owners Protection Act, 1993 – Brady Handguns Violence Act, 1994 – Assault Weapons Ban, 1995 – Gun Free School Zones Act, NO MORE COMPROMISING

  14. #14
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    Load of bull
    Some day my children will have a lot of guns and that will bring a smile to my face.

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    After the fourth gun-related question during my son's checkup, I told the nurse quizzing me that I leave my assault weapons laying around the house loaded with nuclear-tipped ammo but it was ok because I always have the safety on.

    Treat ridiculous questions with ridiculous answers.
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  16. #16
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    This has been a problem for a couple of years now, started by the AMA. The last time it happened to me my response was "Owning firearms has nothing to do with the reason my daughter is being seen today and nothing to do with why my daughter would be seen in the future. This question violates several constitutionally protected rights and will not be answered in the future." So far I have had no response or questions from the doctors.
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    Besides pediatricians, any worried inquiry from others? Living in MA, we've been careful about letting anyone we know about "the guns." But the funny thing is, all the people we liked didn't care a hoot when they found out.

    Anyone had bad experiences with neighbors or school-kids' parents?

    (It would be nice to think this AAP crusade has fallen on deaf ears.)

    Re the AMA, I agree they're just as bad. Their April 2008 Policy Compendium supports a ban on "Handguns and Automatic Repeating Weapons," "Black Talon and other similary constructed bullets," "non-detaectable weapons," and re-authorization of the 1994 AWB. It only calls for restriction--is this the same as a ban?--of other weapons:
    Our AMA supports appropriate legislation that would restrict the sale and private ownership of inexpensive handguns commonly referred to as "Saturday night specials," and large clip, high-rate-of-fire automatic and semi-automatic firearms, or any weapon that is modified or redesigned to operate as a large clip, high-rate-of-fire automatic or semi-automatic weapon.
    My advice--if your doctor belongs to the AMA, can you find another doctor?

  18. #18
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    Don't worry about whether your doctor is an AMA member or not - most of them are, but many of them don't buy the "party line" positions of the organization.

    My wife belongs to such a professional organization, and disagrees completely with almost all of the organization's positions.

    None of my kids' friends or our neighbors have ever asked us about guns - they're too busy hunting deer! (I LOVE Virginia!)
    With guns, we are citizens; without them we are subjects!

  19. #19
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    I live in MA, but my Pediatrician has never asked about guns in the home. Then again, she's never asked about toxic chemicals or 5 gallon buckets in the home either. She's from Thailand and is very practical in her approach to health and child-rearing. That's why we like her.
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  20. #20
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    This has been a problem for a couple of years now, started by the AMA. The last time it happened to me my response was "Owning firearms has nothing to do with the reason my daughter is being seen today and nothing to do with why my daughter would be seen in the future. This question violates several constitutionally protected rights and will not be answered in the future." So far I have had no response or questions from the doctors.
    The questions don't violate any constitutional rights (because the doctor is not a government agent) but they are a form of professional misconduct -- I think it's officially called a "boundary violation". You'll get more of a reaction by saying the questions are unethical rather than unconstitutional. [any doctors here care to comment?]
    "Nobody wins in a Dairy Challenge" —Kenny Rogers

  21. #21
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    Pediatricians?

    I'm sure y'all are aware the pretty much every doctor coming out of medical school nowadays has had some minimum number of credits in psych, yes?

    The vector you are seeing originates from the psych community more than anywhere else.

    There's all kinds of plausible crap taught under the flag of "mental health" and stuff like "self esteem uber alles" comes from there as well.

    Control of the population --> control of behavior of said population --> control of the thinking of said population --> indoctrination of that self same population.

    The psych vectors have political ends more than medical ends -- it's less about being healthy in any discernible sense and more about conforming to arbitrary "norms" derived with political goals in mind.

    You're free to contemplate this from your own observations to see if what you notice lines up with what I've proposed here.

    When your pediatrician starts lecturing you about ownership of inanimate objects, and starts suggesting behaviors regarding same, he's not practicing actual medicine at that point.

    Sadly, he probably really believes that it's medicine. That's what he's been taught.

    Those of you with small children will want to be alert to injections of psychobabble into "medical" interviews. The data collected from such conversations can wind up in unexpected places.

    It may come as a shock, but doctors are not about "risk management." That's a social and political overlay, not medicine.

    Sadly, any "rant" such as the one I've written above earns one the "tinfoil hattery" or at least the "poor, ignorant slob" label.

    My observations are not the product of a course of study. They are brought to you from the trenches of childrearing, interactions with school officials, and conversations with actual doctors who have lamented the layers of political and social crap they're now required to administer.

    So, take my remarks for what they're worth, with as much salt as you require.


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  22. #22
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    ^Disagree, somewhat.

    I think it's within a doctor's purview to recommend certain behaviors: eat healthily, exercise, drink moderately (or not at all), drive safely and with your seat-belt on, etc.

    With guns, the same: ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Much better to prevent the high-pitch hearing loss, or the eye injury from a bullet fragment, or the hole in your thigh (or in your kid) than to deal with them after the fact. There are safe methods for gun handling and safe storage, and I never object to being reminded of them.

    But if the doc tells me the way to prevent injury from automobile accidents is to never own a car, never ride in one, and don't let my kids near one--well, I'm going to think he's a complete loon. Even if the AMA and AAP agree with him.

  23. #23
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    Indeed, But . . .

    With guns, the same: ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Much better to prevent the high-pitch hearing loss, or the eye injury from a bullet fragment, or the hole in your thigh (or in your kid) than to deal with them after the fact. There are safe methods for gun handling and safe storage, and I never object to being reminded of them.
    And you're spot on.

    Except that I don't believe I've ever heard of a doctor simply recommending safe shooting practices (protect your eyes and hearing, etc.).

    What I get to hear has to do with how they're dangerous and you hafta keep them away from kids, and if you MUST have these vile things then keep them locked up.

    Way more productive would be how to protect your kids' eyes and ears, and the importance of good ventilation to keep lead out of their systems.

    The "gasp, horror, OMG" reactions are all about norm-enforcing, behavior modification, "stop being so dangerous" efforts that are politically motivated.

    Remember, these are only my observations and opinions.

    Salt to taste.


    Daughter: "Dad, how do I know who's a real friend?"
    Me: "A friend is someone who cares how your life turns out."


    "Truth is a dangerous thing: once found, you must never turn your back on it." -- gh@c2

    "Look at it this way. If America frightens you, feel free to live somewhere else. There are plenty of other countries that don't suffer from excessive liberty. America is where the Liberty is. Liberty is not certified safe." -- gh@c2

  24. #24
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    All my kids are furry and 4 legged.

    Funny, their doctor has never posed these kinds of questions for us before.

    My doctor told me about the dangers of hunting last week: He said walking on uneven ground could damage the surgical work he did on my heel a month ago reattaching my Achilles tendon after removing the bone spur. I'll give him a pass this time...

  25. #25
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    As someone who works everyday in the medical field and also as a student of health professions... I will tell you this:

    Doctors are normal people. They are just like everyone else.

    They will all give you varied advice on weapons because some know about guns and some don't. I've had a surgeon ask where he could buy a riot shotgun at for HD. I would take their advice about guns as what it is...advice coming from the person...not from their title.

    p.s. I blew out my ankle once...went in to see the Dr. with my parents... I had already asked a pretty girl to go to the KS statehood Grand VIctorian Ball with me... I didn't want to let her down.

    My mom knew how bad I wanted to go so she asked the Dr. if dancing was allowed. The Dr. didn't even flinch he said, "Dancing is sin."
    So I went the next night and danced on an ankle with bone chips floating around and torn ligaments..it was sooo worth it. I married her
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